Disorientation Re/Presentation

Here is an abstract of a talk I presented in June 2019 at the University of Hertfordshire symposium: Artists and the Philophers We Love

Disorientation Re/Presentation

The human race has become a geological force. Ecological problems are no longer just an issue of our impact on the environment, they’re about our impact on the earth’s system. The magnitude of the accelerated transformation has turned ecological questions into questions of survival and has disoriented us in space and time. The newness of the situation and its complexity makes it difficult to fully know what the issues are. For that reason, philosophers like Bruno LaTour, Timothy Morton and Donna Haraway call on artists to work across disciplines  to help visualize, come up with a new cosmology, myths, and representations of the world to render us sensitive to these issues. 

This talk will focus on the success and failure of Bruno LaTour’s interdisciplinary performance lecture – Inside.  The performance lecture is the result of his working with artists  to find a new way of representing the world from the inside, as opposed to the world represented as a blue globe from outer space.  Given that life exists within a very thin layer of activity on the earth’s crust, a feeling for the sensitivity of this skin is difficult to represent when you imagine it from the outside.  We are not in a globe, we are on top of a very thin layer of the earth. Everything we see and encounter in life exist in this tiny critical zone. The artist’s role in the scientific/political philosophical situation will be to find ways to render ourselves sensitive to this layer.

This presentation has evolved into a collective research project on ecological imaging -- Collective Mapping of the Critical Zone.  This project will culminate in a series of art events and an exhibition in October 2019 as Casimir Effect in New York.